January 31, 2011


View from the back deck

Monday, January 31, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Intense weekend, but really worthwhile. Wrapped up the workshop; I’ll miss this batch. The ones that really buckled down and put in the work, I think, got quite a bit out of it.

I spent most of Saturday, twelve hours of it, in fact, revising HEX BREAKER in preparation for submission to a potential new publisher who may put it back in print. I’ve been away from Jain & Co. for awhile now, licking my wounds after the last publisher went out of business, and hadn’t realized how much I missed them. Twelve hours of intense work, some good tweaks, a solid cover letter. I wrote the synopsis on Sunday morning and got it out of the door. Then, I sat down to work on OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK, the second Jain Lazarus. I smoothed out some logistical errors, and, overall, it read better than I expected. I want to sit down and read it through again, in a few days, at a single sitting, so I can make sure there aren’t any holes. It also makes me see where I went off the rails a bit in CRAVE THE HUNT, toning Wyatt down too much. Even though it’s mostly Billy’s book, Wyatt’s too great a character to diminish in any way.

I worked on the Character Bible for the series. I’ve got all the characters from HEX BREAKER in there; I’ll be adding everyone from OLD-FASHIONED DETECTIVE WORK shortly, and filling in continuity details.

I’ve got a writer’s rough for CRAVE THE HUNT, Book #3, and I know where I want to go with LOVE AND FURY, which is Book #4. I roughed out Books 5, 6, & 7, which is all I see in this tale, although if there’s enough interest, I may go back into Jain’s early days when she was training in Scotland with the close-knit group that she reconnects with as the series grows.

And if this publisher passes, I’ve explored some other opportunities for the series, too. Jain, Wyatt, and Billy are too important for me to just forget about because a company went under. It felt really good to work on that series again.

That’s pretty much all I did all weekend — workshop and revisions.

This morning, I have to get some correspondence finished, work on the book due at the end of February, and run some errands before the next storm hits. This weekend’s wasn’t as bad as they thought, so I’m hoping they’re wrong about the Tuesday/Wednesday blast.

I got my next assignment from Confidential Job #1 and I’m incredibly excited. I hope to dive into that later today, too.

It feels good to find a solid writing rhythm here, and I have such a lovely surrounding for it. The writing room is wonderful. Writing here makes a big difference. Yes, I CAN write anywhere I have to; I prefer writing here, in my own writing room.

Hop on over to Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions to see the January wrap-up.

Devon

Advertisements

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

The only thing I did outside yesterday was go out and get the papers and deposit a check in my mother’s bank. Driving was tough on my back, but it wasn’t far, and all was accomplished.

I’m writing about my Green Pepper Experiment on Gratitude and Growth, so go have a look.

I managed to do three loads of laundry — the Yuletide fabric can finally be put away, nice and clean! The vacuuming had to wait until today or tomorrow, because I couldn’t handle the hose for the central vac. I always feels like I’m in HARRY POTTER wrestling the mega-snake.

Didn’t get enough writing done, got a bunch of admin done, caught up on the workshop. I can’t believe it ends tomorrow!

Finished Susan Wittig Albert’s DEAD MAN’S BONES, which was very good.

Started a book by an author whose previous work I really enjoyed, but this one, for me, misses the mark. It’s supposed to be a modern comedy of manners, but I can’t find humor or satire in it. I find formulaic cliches, which, if this was a comedy of manners, or a satire, would have been exploded or at least turned inside out. But they’re just there. And I don’t like any of the protagonists. It’s one thing to have an unreliable narrator, or a narrator who isn’t the best of human beings — a skilled writer can make you care. But the protags in this book are ordinary in the way only a fictional character can be, whiny, and refuse to learn from experience. I realize there are plenty of people like that. I don’t keep them in my life (whiny and refusing to learn from experience are cut out — I find uniqueness in everyone I know), and I don’t want to spend my free time with them in a book, especially if, halfway through, there’s been zero character growth.

When something like this happens with an author whose work I’ve liked before, I always feel guilty. Authors need reader support. They also need the freedom to write whatever they want, and try new things, even if they don’t always work, and not lose support. In this case, I’d read this author’s work again; I just don’t like this book. If the next three books or so don’t work for me, then I’d probably stop. But if I want the freedom to write whatever I please, even if it doesn’t always work, I have to support other writers who do the same.

Have to run a few errands this morning before the next storm hits. I think it will hit sooner than they’re saying — I have the pre-storm headache. So maybe I will just stay home and work!

The back is better — I’m mostly uncomfortable rather than in acute pain, and I have a better range of motion. I just hope the snow isn’t another six inches, because if I have to shovel again, I am screwed.

Devon

Friday, January 28, 2011


Violet

Friday, January 28, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

Yesterday, I hurt my back shoveling snow, and was down for the count all day. It’s muscular, fortunately, easier to heal, but very uncomfortable. It was too much snow for the electric shovel, so I did it the old-fashioned way, and it was heavy, wet snow. In the evening, the forecasters gave a formula for how much each cubic foot weighed. I did the math and found out that I shoveled just over a half a TON of snow. And I wonder why my back hurts!

Lying down was the worst, because in order to get up, I had to roll onto the floor onto my hands and knees and push up from there. If I bent down from the waist for something, it was close to impossible to straighten. And, because I hurt my knee a few days ago, I couldn’t squat down, either.

Not pretty.

I rested until I had to drive my mom to the doctor’s. She really, really likes her new doctor. The difference in quality between this practice and the previous one she had in New York is amazing. The doctor spent a solid block of time with her, getting to know her, talking WITH her, not AT her, listening to her, and they figured out a plan of action between them. The doctor feels she’s in good health, but wants her to get the cataracts done sooner rather than later, and promised not to force her into anything. She’ll have to go for a blood test and another visit in April to see if they need to modify any of the medications. A hundred times better than her previous doctor. Of course, the previous practice hasn’t bothered to send over the medical records. I’ve worked in many a doctor’s office over the years– two weeks is more than enough time to send medical files. They just can’t be bothered — a horrid place. The new doctor’s office just shrugged it off and said that they were sure we could all figure it out together without them. Had it been the other way around, the old place would have probably refused to continue the appointment. The staff at this new place is really sweet and friendly, they bother to get to know the names of the patients and the patient’s family, they even help patients to and from their cars if necessary. Imagine that! Health care focused on the patient — the way it should be!

Back home, my mom relieved that she actually has a responsive doctor and that the office staff is pleasant, rather than treating her like an inconvenience, the way they did in Westchester.

I went back onto the couch, with first ice, then heating pad, anti-inflammatories, etc. I tried to check in on the workshops, but couldn’t tap into the critical thinking part of the brain — I kept reading sentences over and over without being able to coherently respond.

So I put the computer aside and went back to reading just because. I read/skimmed one of the worst-written books I’ve ever encountered in my life — picked up at the library, self-published, and, let me tell you, there was a GOOD reason why no publisher touched this one. Interesting premise and location, poor execution, terrible characterization, sloppy writing, lapses of logic, etc., etc. Just awful.

It was a relief to slide into another Susan Wittig Albert book, DEAD MAN’S BONES. Her writing is good and I always learn something from her, in addition to simply enjoying the books.

To bed early, after taking some Valerian. Woke up feeling a little better, and, certainly, more coherent. Did some yoga to promote the back muscles’ healing. Pigeon pose was a challenge, but for the best. However, I couldn’t fold down into child’s pose, and, had I managed it, there’s no way I could have gotten out of it, so I skipped it for today.

Cancelled out of everything for this weekend — I was supposed to run around looking at patio furniture. I can’t sit in the car very long, and I couldn’t lift the furniture into or out of the car if I bought it, so it will have to wait. I will stay home, reading and writing. Maybe I can make some good headway on my deadline. I can take Valerian every night, which will also help my back. I only have the high dosage, so I’m not taking it during the day, or all I’ll do is sleep! Just because it’s an herb doesn’t mean you can take an unlimited amount safely! One has to be careful with herbs, and take into account weight, reactions to allergens, etc., etc. People who go around stating that because something is an “herb” or “natural” means it’s safe to take as much as you want are irresponsible. They work differently, more gently, and more holistically than prescription medication, but they are still MEDICINE, not candy.

I’ve got to wind up the workshop this weekend, too. And get some marketing done, or March will be a very lean month. A friend sent me an interesting possibility, but the way it’s worded sent up a few red flags. I have to think about it for a day or two.

I’ve also got a book to review for A BIBLIO PARADISE by one of my favorite authors. I’ve started it, but put it aside because I want to be able to really focus on it and enjoy it, and yesterday, I was only up for being entertained, not intellectual interaction.

Dishwasher’s on, and when that’s gone through, I’ve got a few loads of laundry to push through, and I have to vacuum and clean a bit.

And then it’s back to the page, back to the workshops. I’ve got a potential play deadline in March — I have to find out more about that, but it would be great to do it, because it’s been awhile since I wrote a new play.

Devon


Iris

Thursday, January 27, 2011


One of the trees in the side yard

Thursday, January 27, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

It snowed all day yesterday, and I was glad to stay home. I worked on the workshops — realizing, as I went over the exercises, that I’d been unclear in my lecture about formatting, and needlessly confused the students. I apologized, and I’m working with the ones who see their pieces as stage plays to get it properly formatted. In all the times I’ve taught the workshop, the students never wanted to work in stage format, just for the screen, so I stopped focusing on stage format. And here, I have students who want stage format — and have picked work that will be powerful in it. Exciting, but I feel badly that I was unclear.

Got some good work done on the new book. It’s not happening as quickly as I want it or need it to happen, but it’s getting there. I’m finding its innate rhythm, and hopefully, as I get further into it, I can accelerate it a bit. Looking at it as another type of Nano won’t help, unfortunately, because quality is just as important as quantity, and I’m only going to get one shot at revision for this submission, and it will be without the two month rest period that is necessary between the first draft and edits. My own fault for not getting into it early enough.

Started reading Michael Innes’s APPLEBY AND THE OSPREYS. Innes had a long and successful career as a writer and as a mystery writer (Innes is a pseudonym). It took me awhile to “get” the gentle humor and cerebral wit of the book, but now that I do, I really enjoy it. He gives a wink and an elbow to the ribs towards Christie’s formulas, and there’s a solid layer of satire under the manners. There’s a lot of intelligence in the writing, which I enjoy. He’s from the era where the puzzle was more important than the action, and it’s fascinating to see how it’s constructed. I think I can learn a lot from him, and I want to read more.

It’s like any genre — if you want to learn how to do it well, you have to read the Masters. If you want to write plays, you read the Greeks and Shakespeare, and work your way through to O’Neill and Inge and Odets and Glaspell and Miller to Albee and Pinter and Stoppard and Churchill and Wasserstein and Devere Smith and Parks.

Great writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s influenced by the writers who wrote before. If you study the greats, you raise the bar for yourself. If you only read the mediocre, that’s where your writing stays.

Some garden stuff arrived yesterday via UPS. And this carrier was the good one — he came all the way to the door and helped me get the box inside. It’s adorable! Can’t wait until the weather lets me put it out.

We didn’t get hammered by the weather as badly as Boston, which is in a great big mess, but it will be a pain to shovel. However, it’s supposed to get sunnier later, and I have to get my mom to an appointment with her new doctor this afternoon, so . . .

I also have to get my act together — the window is open to sign up for insurance, and, if I don’t sign up (health insurance is mandatory in MA), I get fined at tax time. I’ve got an organization whose sole purpose is to find me care I can afford — I just have to pull my paperwork together and we’ll sort it out. Preliminary research showed several affordable options, so let’s hope at least one of them pans out. It will be good to have access to traditional health care, even if I rarely use it.

Back to the page for awhile, then out with the shovel!

Devon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Snowy and cold

I talk about pots in today’s entry of Gratitude and Growth. Hop on over.

Saturn went retrograde this morning, and will stay retrograde until June 12, according to my calender. Saturn is the planet of life lessons. When it goes retrograde, the life lessons it tried to teach you in the last retrograde and you ignored/refused to learn will come back and bite you in the butt here. Saturn does not take prisoners; it is a tough love planet. If you keep making the same mistakes, you dig yourself in deeper.

I have a dear friend who, since I’ve known her, has been caught in a pattern and refuses to break it. Saturn retrogrades are particularly difficult for her. We’ve talked in detail how to break these patterns holding her back, but she refuses. And yet she wonders why each Saturn retrograde cycle is more difficult than the previous one. Until she takes action to break the negative patterns, it’s going to keep getting worse.

I went through a couple of those cycles when I knew it was time to leave Broadway,but I was afraid so to do, both financially and emotionally. And, each Saturn retrograde cycle, I was reminded (harshly) that it was time to go.

Hopefully, moving here broke a negative pattern in which I was mired, and hopefully I can learn how to get what I want and stand up for myself in a more positive way in this cycle. I have to make sure I don’t fall back into old patterns just because they’re familiar.

Yesterday, it snowed almost all day. There wasn’t a lot of accumulation, but it was still kind of a pain to get around. Got to the library; returned the books due, got out some new ones, and got my mom all set up with her library card. They are so nice there!

Back home, read for awhile, then called the place holding the seminar to make sure it was still on. It was, so I layered up and headed back out onto the road. My little lane was kind of a mess, but once I got onto the bigger roads, it was fine, as long as I was cautious. The turnoff to the seminar location was tricky, and the hill going up — let’s just say I’m grateful I have a VW!

The first parking lot hadn’t been plowed since the last storm, so there was no way I was going to park there. I managed to squeeze into a parking spot closer to the buildings, but those roads were in bad shape.

It was a small class, among them the nature columnist I met a few days ago at Ashumet, which was great fun — we exchanged information and will go play, soon.

I had mixed feelings about the class. The weather was too bad for us to go tromping around identifying plants, so it was modified so we could stay inside. All good. The teacher knew what she was talking about, but her style of teaching did not work for me. I found her very condescending and making sweeping generalizations: “We all demand prescriptions”, “Heaven forbid we turn off the TV” , “you won’t read these guides, but you should”– stuff like that. I was biting my tongue, wanting to say, “Listen, bitch, maybe most of your students do that, but why do you think we’re here, learning this? I haven’t had a prescription since 2002, and it’s easier to pill a feral cat than to get me to take anything stronger than an Advil. And I have the TV off most nights to read. And when I get a guide, I READ it from cover to cover. You just met me; don’t assume you know anything about me or that I fit some preconceived societal notions.”

To actually say that in class would have been incredibly rude, even for me, so I kept my mouth shut, but I think my new acquaintance next to me knew something was up from the way I shifted around in my chair. I kept having to unfold my arms and change my body position, because, in a class of five, it’s noticeable when you have negative body language.

I’m sure she thought I was responding negatively because I’m her societal cliche.

Once I could filter through the way the information was presented, I got some good notes, which I now have to learn.

However, I also felt she didn’t have proper respect for poisonous plants. I’m as deeply attuned to the facts that there are a lot of positive uses for poisonous plants as she is. However, a poisonous plant doesn’t give a damn about your beliefs or “place in society” or anything else. If you don’t approach a poisonous plant with the proper respect and knowledge, it’s gonna kill you, no matter who you are. It’s very non-discriminatory.

She knows a lot, but her teaching style doesn’t work with me or connect positively with me (really, one should not leave a class wanting to smack the instructor upside the head). But you’re not going to get along with everyone, and I can be cordial when we meet again (as we’re bound to in a community this small) and appreciate the information I was able to separate out from the teaching style. She’s simply not the teacher under whom I want to train professionally next year, when I am in a position to take classes for certification. I shouldn’t have to fight so hard through the teaching style to get to the information.

I managed to make it down the hill (love my VW) and back onto the road. Stopped at Lavender Moon to get the icky energy off, replenish some incense, and have a nice chat with the proprietor. Actually, I made a conscious effort to leave the negativity outside the door before I entered the shop.

Came home, burned incense, roasted a chicken with lemon caper sauce, and read Susan Wittig Albert’s WORMWOOD, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I used to read each of her China Bayles mysteries as soon as it came out (because of the herb shop aspect as much as the mystery). I don’t know why I stopped, but I’m pretty far behind at this point.

We’re supposed to get hammered with another storm today, so I’m staying home to write and comment on exercises. The big black cat sauntered past this morning, and is lounging on top of the shed across the way.

Bacon and eggs for breakfast, and then, back to the page.

Devon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Primrose

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Waning Moon
Snowing

With the snow coming down, it feels much warmer than it did yesterday — well, it IS much warmer than it was yesterday. It’s not much — sort of like a giant is sifting powdered sugar over us. Very pretty.

I had a good writing day yesterday on the manuscript due at the end of February. A couple more weeks of that every day, and I’ll be there. The manuscript has to be mailed to Scotland, so I have to send it a little early. I caught up on the workshop — can’t believe this is the last week! A lot of really good work has been created. Several students have several different pieces each they could submit, which is how it should be.

The rest of the day was spent packing the rest of the Yuletide decorations and arranging what I’ve designated as “The Christmas Closet”. It almost all fit — four boxes had to go into a different one, but once I do some rearranging in the spring, they’ll fit. It took almost the whole day, but it’s done. And I had to rearrange some furniture, because it looks very bare where the tree stood.

Finished PD James’s TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION. It’s interesting. It makes me want to go re-read Wilkie Collins’s THE MOONSTONE, and revisit some of the old-time mystery authors I haven’t read for about twenty years or so. I’m making a list to take to the library!

Somehow hurt my knee (the “Broadway knee”) — iced it, took ibuprofen, kept it warm last night. It’s better, but still aches. I’m looking forward to acupuncture towards the end of next month, with my regular acupuncturist back in NY. She’s going to have to use a chisel!

Today, I’ve got writing to do, the final exercise to post for my students, exercises on which to comment, and a plant identification seminar up at the Green Briar Jam Kitchen in Sandwich. I want to dash to my local library, too, to take back some books, get my mom set up with her library card, and take out some of the books on the list I’m making, if they’re available.

As usual, I’m very busy! 😉

Saturn goes retrograde tomorrow — ick. If I haven’t learned a lot from the last retrograde and applied it, I will get my ass kicked. So I better proceed with caution.

Devon

Monday, January 24, 2011


A CT winter wonderland

Monday, January 24, 2011
Waning Moon
Coldcoldcoldcoldcoldcoldcold (you get the picture)

OK, we’ve got some catching up to do.

I made a run for it Thursday afternoon, after I scrubbed the house down. The cats were beside themselves — Violet: “You’re dead to me! Talk to the tail!” Iris: “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, we’re going to die cold and hungry and alone” — this from a cat who never missed a meal in ten years.

Drive down was fine — and the gas at my favorite station just over the bridge is nearly fifty cents a gallon cheaper than in CT! Driving through Providence was annoying as usual, there was a lot of plowing/roadwork around Niantic, and from New Haven down it was just too many trucks. But the Merritt was too risky, so I stayed on I-95, gritted my teeth, and dealt with the trucks.

Did some work when I got to CT, did some prep work for February’s gigs down here, got settled. Went to bed way too early.

Snow was nowhere near as bad on Friday as they predicted.

My car, however, rocks. In typical tri-state fashion, the plow guy and his shovel guys show up. I have to move my car so they can plow the entire driveway (there were already two cars in the garage, so I couldn’t stash it). I parked in a way that they could plow almost the whole driveway and my car had kept the areas in front of the double garage clear. But they wanted to plow that part — where the only snow was ON my car — too. In order for them to do that, I had to move my car — into the unplowed part of the drive.

Of course, I’d called the guy more than a dozen times on Thursday to ask him where he wanted me to leave the car; he never picked up and he doesn’t have voice mail.

So I hold out the key.

“No, no, no, the car will never make it.” They’re shaking their heads and being typical workers in this area. Three of them standing around, shaking their heads, saying it can’t be done.

On the Cape, where they have a fetish for driving other people’s cars, it would have happened lickity split. Of course, on the Cape, they would have either answered the phone or had voice mail and it would have been sorted out ahead of time.

I wipe the snow off the windshield and the back window, start the car, hop over the snowbank (it is, after all, a Rabbit), he plowed where he didn’t need to, and then the snowbank I’d just crested, and I put the car right back where it was.

So not impressed with them. But at least I didn’t have to shovel a long, treacherous, slanted gravel drive.

Caught up on email and workshops.

Then, there’s Mousie. Yep, we had ourselves a little critter in CT. Now, I love Christmas mice as much as the next person (I was complaining at their dearth this past holiday season), dressed in Victorian costumes, singing and dancing. The real ones? Not so much. Especially when I’m cat-less.

I didn’t see it, or I’d be typing this from the top of the refrigerator or hanging from the chandelier. I don’t do well with real mice. In fact, one of the best-received monologues from my show WOMEN WITH AN EDGE had to do with being a single woman dealing with a mouse. But I saw evidence (you know what that means) along with a gnawed wooden spoon.

Fortunately, in my writing bag, I always carry a can opener, a wine opener (because you never know when you might need to open a bottle of wine) and a set of wooden spoons. I kid you not. It’s separate from what I keep in the kitchen, and those items living in the writing bag except when I’m using them on site jobs.

Now, we had the occasional mouse in the NYC apartment. Although, it must have been a pretty stupid mouse to venture in when there were four cats. Felicia was the huntress and handled it (I used to bring her to the theatre to hunt mice there, too); Elsa always tried to protect the mouse (thereby scaring it half to death). I don’t know what the twins will do when confronted with them (because we’re bound to have mice at some point in the Cape house. I’m hoping the pack of Maine Coons across the street go a-hunting in our yard when it comes to mice. And I will sit down and explain to the girls that anything that comes into the house — part of the deal is that they take care of it.

Finished my assignment for Confidential Job #1 and got it off on time, which was nice. I’m reading Antonia Frasier’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, MUST YOU GO?, which is beautiful. A playwright and a biographer/novelist living, loving, and working together — in a way that works. Harold Pinter was one of the most brilliant playwrights of modern times, and Antonia Frasier’s written some of the biographies I most admire. Excellent reading.

Up early on Saturday morning. Yoga in the front room, with all the glass windows, with the moonlight spilling across the snow. Just gorgeous.

In this house, the downstairs bathroom is the one with the shower. And the big windows with the blinds that are stuck in the “up” position. Sigh. Here’s hoping it was far too early and the other houses were far too away for me to provide any opportunities for morning voyeurism. I used bathwash supposed to smell like margaritas, so I even smelled like a cocktail at 6:30 AM. Actually, it smelled like the lovely fragrant part of a margarita, with the undertone notes of alcohol gone, so it was quite lovely.

The trip back was pretty smooth. Not much traffic out, and what was out moved smoothly. We stopped at the store in Old Saybrook — I bought a few vintage linens, and priced out some Adirondack chairs that looked good, and for which I might have to go back. Stopped in Mystic to pick up the sauce we like at the Franklin General Store, and to pick up some incense at Mystical Elements. And then, home we went.

It was so good to be home. If you haven’t read my piece, The Sense of Being Home, please do, because it explains a lot of why this place is so important to me.

Got unpacked, fed the cats who were happy to see us for once, instead of angry, slipped a pizza into the oven, had dinner, relaxed, etc. Just enjoyed the fact of being HOME, now that we have a lovely place to so call.

Up early the next morning, morning routine, got everything all sorted out for the walk at Ashumet Holly Sanctuary. Layered up, as if I was doing a location shoot — tights under jeans, thick socks over tights, a thermal shirt covered by a fleece shirt, covered by my sweatshirt from when I worked on FLOWER DRUM SONG’s Broadway revival (best sweatshirt I own), fleece vest over it (so I could stick my driver’s license, money, and keys in it and not carry a purse), big LL Bean coat over that, hat, gloves, scarf, boots. On the way to the Sanctuary, I stopped at the store to both buy the Sunday papers and get hand and foot warmers. Put the foot warmers on in the car, kept the hand warmers to insert later, when my hands got cold. Also downed a big mug of ginger tea before I left.


wintergreen growing wild on an Ashumet hillside

I just love that Sanctuary. I can’t wait until the weather’s a little warmer, so I can come and wander around at will, or bring my notebook and just move from place to place, writing. It seems like a really good spot to write. And, of course, now I’m getting obsessed with the various varieties of hollies, so it’s the perfect place — it both started and feeds my obsession.

The walk was lovely, a small, lively group that included one of the founders of an organization which protects open space in Falmouth (she co-lead), and a columnist whose work I read every week and thoroughly enjoy. We got some wonderful handouts that I read thoroughly once I got home, and a key that I will take to wander around the backyard and learn what I’ve got there, then take with me to other places on the Cape, so I can learn how to identify various trees.

I’m very sad that the Hemlock is being attacked by some insect –a woolly something (how stupid, I’ve been told its name a half a dozen times and can’t retain it). I’m very fond of hemlock, and I hate to see it destroyed. There’s got to be something that some clever botanist or herbalist can devise that will destroy Mr. Woolly Whatsits without killing everything else. I’m sure they’ve tried a bunch of things, but there’s got to be something that will eat or kill Woolly Whatsits. And I’m sure they’ll keep trying until they find it, but I hope it’s not too late. People wonder why I’m interested in poisonous plants and herbs — it’s not just to find interesting ways to bump people off in my mysteries, but it’s to see if there are ways to steward/manage habitat without doing pesticide damage (people just have to look out for their own damn selves and learn what’s poisonous. I’m interested in stewardship of plants and animals).

There’s a lot of bittersweet climbing all over things, too. Something is niggling at the back of my brain — I learned something about bittersweet lately, a use for it, and I can’t remember. I’m going to have to poke through my books and notes and find it.

Anyway, the walk was fascinating, and I learned a lot (let’s hope I can retain it). I also, finally, saw what a bayberry bush looks like! That was pretty cool. And learned that the huckleberry bush that’s arriving later in the spring will thrive in full sun, so that is what I will give it.

Yeah, I was cold, but not distractingly so, which meant I could pay attention to what was being said and going on and really enjoy it.

Came home, warmed up with hot soup, and out the door again. First to PetSmart, to replenish the kitty cupboard, then to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things (and exchange tips with the check out clerk on what to do with pancetta. I love that the clerks actually talk to the customers here instead of ignoring them to talk to each other). To Christmas Tree Shops where they had some pretty clay pots on sale, decent quality, great price. So bought five of those — two big ones for tomatoes, and three smaller ones for various herbs. Then to CVS for a couple of things, and back over to the grocery store in Marstons Mills to stock up.

Home, spaghetti and meatballs for dinner (I’m experimenting with meatball recipes), caught up on the workshops, watched JULIE AND JULIA on HBO. I remember that it got lousy reviews except for Meryl Streep’s performance, but I thought, overall, it was well done. I certainly found Amy Adams’s Julie Powell more charming that the Julie in the book.

Checked the house, the pipes, the furnace, everything before bedtime so nothing would go kerplooey in the night with the below zero temperatures.

Up at a decent hour, angry at Comcast (yeah, that’s new and different. Not). Not only do they bill me multiple times per month for a whole month, now they’re adding made-up charges, claiming I have an “unreturned modem” and have cut off service to the box for the second television. More paperwork to file, including a fraud claim with the MA Attorney General’s office, and a petition to the State Legislator to cut Comcast’s stranglehold on the Cape. They should not have a monopoly and be the only choice out here, especially when they treat their customers like this.

At least I had a good first writing session of the day, although I have to buckle down and get a lot more writing done today. And, I am determined to finish taking down/putting away the holiday decorations, once and for all! It will look bare, but that’s okay; I’ll soon have other decor up as we unpack.

To the page. And the paperwork.

Devon

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2100
Waning Moon
Cold and sunny

I met a bunch of deadlines and have a bunch more to satisfy.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to check out my piece “The Sense of Being Home”, and I’ll catch up with you on Monday with a LOT of stories. Because a lot’s been going on!

And, if you get a chance, pick up Antonia Frasier’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, MUST YOU GO? It’s fantastic!

Devon

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 7:42 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: ,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011
Waning Moon
Snowy and cold

It’s lovely, it will be a pain in the ass to shovel, I’m in a mad deadline dash, stories forthcoming . . .

Devon

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 8:44 am  Comments (5)  

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Iris

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Waning Moon
Grey and cold

I think there’s a group of Maine Coon cats who live across the way. Yesterday, the big black cat strolled across the lawn, on its way to get something it wanted at another neighbor’s. That cat is at least 25 pounds, probably more, but not fat — just huge and athletic, which is why I’m thinking Maine Coon. Also stops at the street and looks both ways before crossing. I called out to him, he turned, gave me a look that clearly said, “I’m BUSY” and kept going.

Violet hissed.

Which is hilarious, because she’s about an eighth of his size. He shrugged in that way only a cat can, and kept going.

Later, in the afternoon, he emerged from what must be a cat door in the screened porch across the way to lounge on the roof and laugh at us.

By accident, on the drive to Cotuit, found the vet I’m thinking of establishing with here, and it makes sense– close and the place has a good vibe.

The lecture on shipwrecks at the Cotuit Library was very interesting. The lecturer was quite the character in her own right. Some information I knew, some I did not, and it got me thinking, so I took notes. Lots of nice people — and about 40 people turned out for it. Lovely lunch of kale-and-sausage soup, served with a mixed greens salad, excellent bread, and spice cake for dessert. It was made by several of the Friends’ members, and it was really, really good. We were encouraged to have seconds. Something else I love about events here that have food — no one ever skimps. There’s always plenty. It’s never forced on you, but you always know you can have more if you want it. If I was going to be here for the February event, I’d volunteer to cook for it, but I’ll be away. We’ll see when March’s event takes place, and what I’m up to and decide from there. They started serving wine at 11:30 AM — my kind of group! 😉 I had one glass of wine, and then switched to coffee. Met a wide variety of people with a wide variety of interests and jobs. So many people seem to make their own hours and run their own businesses — it’s like being in a very large community of freelancers, which is great.

The library itself is a lovely, lovely building with great collections. Each of the libraries in the region has areas in which it specializes in, so, depending on what you’re working on, you go to different places.

I found PD James’s book TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION, which I’ve wanted to read for a really long time, and Bill Bryson’s SHAKESPEARE: THE WORLD AS STAGE. Since Cotuit is part of the CLAMS system, I could check the books out with my library card on the spot and not have to order them and have them sent to my base library, like i had to do in New York. Much more practical, since I was standing right there with the books in my hand! The libraries here also have temporary cards for “summah people”, which I think is an excellent idea.

Unless you were born here, you’re considered a “wash ashore”, even if you’ve lived here or had a house here for decades. Some people feel that means they’re excluded from — I’m not sure from what. Everyone’s friendly and always inviting me to do this and that, so I don’t feel excluded from anything. I just smile and shrug and say I’d rather “wash ashore” here than anywhere else!

Stopped at the grocery store and the post office on the way home. Bought a small primrose plant, which is adorable, and it’s nice to see what a primrose actually looks like. More books arrived that I’d ordered before the self-imposed moratorium (and, if you don’t believe how overboard I went at the book barn, go hop onto A BIBLIO PARADISE). The box contained the copy I decided I had to own of THE CAPE COD GARDEN (still with its awful error in the introduction and no errata slip), and also THE NOVEL BOOKSTORE, what sounds like a fantastic novel by Laurence Cosse (there should be an accent on the “e”, but I can’t get it to work) and a novel by Kate Morton called THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN.

The following was overheard in the grocery store. The woman speaking was 150 if she was a day, and using a walker:

Woman: Goddamn doctor! Wanted to write me a half a dozen prescriptions. I told him what to do with his notepad! I went for acupuncture this morning! So I can’t play soccer this week. But at least I’m not funding some pharmaceutical executive so he can have a mistress AND a therapist!

Okay, I am soooo using that! 😉

Did three loads of laundry and put a full dishwasher load through.

Where I am over the next few days is entirely dependent on the weather. I need to do another round-trip to CT, but when I do it will depend on the forecasts. It’s going to be like a game of Where’s Waldo?

This morning, along with writing and workshops and the like, I have to vacuum the house and tidy up Just In Case.

Devon

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The rocking chair belongs to Violet

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Full Moon
Rainy and cold

Most of the snow washed away, which is good, because the next storm is on its way in.

Didn’t do much yesterday. Was distracted from my writing (which wasn’t going well anyway so it wasn’t hard) by having to deal with the abusive, incompetent administrative (extremely offensive reference deleted. Seriously, the word that best expresses what I mean is so vile I had to remove it because even I found it offensive) in New York, who won’t send my mother’s medical records to her new doctor. They want all sorts of hoops jumped through — and then they won’t do it anyway, making excuses or just ignoring the paperwork, as they always do — paperwork which they should have mentioned and included when they sent her the letter last September telling her that her doctor was leaving the practice, then refused to give her a final appointment with said doctor before she moved. These incompetent bitches have been a problem for years. They shouldn’t be allowed to work in the medical field AT ALL, and certainly not put in any position where they have to interact with the public or get any power to control the medical care.

Yes, the appropriate paperwork has been filed with the appropriate boards.

Fortunately, in spite of a bad shoulder and having to rest both shoulder and eyes regularly, the rest of the day was better. Caught up on classes (okay, when I say “no excuses” and you give me a list of excuses – honey, you ain’t that special, and I’m not making an exception). Read two hilarious books by Marcia Monbleau — THE INEVITABLE GUEST and ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. They were so funny, I read sections aloud to the cats. Iris pretended to pay attention; Violet opened one eye, glared at me, and went back to sleep. Sandra Worth’s newest, to release in February, arrived, and I’ll review it on BIBLIO PARADISE in a few weeks. Memberships cards arrived from Mass Audubon; Greenbriar confirmed by presence at the Plant-Identification event next week, an application for Mass Horticulture was dropped off.

Rained and rained and rained. Not looking forward to driving in Friday’s storm, but there’s no getting around it.

Had an additional yoga session in the evening, which was challenging in the right way, and good for the shoulder as well as the core.

Slept well and am getting used to be woken up by the Hounds of the Baskervilles. Hey, at least I don’t need an alarm clock. I think someone leaving for work sets them off, and it’s around the time I want to get up anyway, so . . .

Heard coyotes do a call-and-answer this morning, too. That’s always rather chilling — more because I worry that one of the neighborhood cats I’ve seen or maybe Imp Dog will get caught by them. We were opening the curtains (Iris now comes with me from window to window in the morning) when it started. Both cats absolutely froze — eyes huge, tails fluffing out. They didn’t run — I think they realize that the house is safe, but they acknowledged that whatever was out there was not out there wishing us well.

But the big black cat is nonchalantly lounging on the neighbor’s shed, so he’s not worried.

I have a lot to get done this morning and have to be very organized — writing, checking in on the workshop, getting out a requested query package to one place for one manuscript and a full manuscript out to another.

I have to be out the door at a very specific time because I’m attending a lecture on shipwrecks a couple of towns over, I have to give myself time to get lost (although I get lost much less on the Cape than elsewhere — maybe because if you get lost in any direction, you wind up at water fairly quickly), and get there on time. Some errands on the way back, but I’ve also got to finish up the work for Confidential Job #1 early, in case I have to make a run for it because the next storm moves in faster than expected.

Gee, I just might have to put in a few extra hours today. Imagine that! Well, that’s part of being a freelancer. Your hours aren’t 9-5, and if you’re determined to stick to those hours, you might as well work somewhere that pays benefits.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth to read what I’m learning about Light and Weather.

Back to the page.

Devon

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


/View towards Sandy Neck from Long Pasture Sanctuary

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Waxing Moon
Stormy and cold

Well, let’s hope the scolding i gave the students Sunday night into Monday means they’re actually going to step up. We’re halfway through the workshop, have only been working for two weeks, and there are certain members of the group who are regularly posting days late, some of them are getting sloppy in their construction. Instead of using the workshop to learn how to make the best of each genre, they’re slapping up whatever. The lack of respect for my time and the time of the students who are keeping up is just appalling. You can make all the excuses you want about what’s going on in your life, but we all have life stuff and we all have to keep commitments in spite of it.

It’s one reason I’ve sat on the longer-term proposals. If they can’t commit to a month and sustain it, how will the commit to longer?

Didn’t watch much of the Golden Globes on Sunday. Just wasn’t interested. Am pleased for Steve Buscemi, Laura Linney, Melissa Leo — about time their work was recognized.

Drank herbal tea that was supposedly calming before bed on Sunday, because I had to be up at five a.m.

Couldn’t sleep.

Sort of drifted in and out, but got up like a bear with a sore head when the alarm went off on Monday morning, and even yoga and meditation didn’t help much.

Battled through my first 1K of the day on the Samantha Light piece and realized I have to research yachts. Not necessarily a negative, but I have to research yachts. I need to know how they’re built, what they look like, etc. Time for another trip to the library.
The opening takes place on a yacht. Even if I make this a created world instead of a real one, I need to understand yacht construction. I know I have some books on it from my America’s Cup research, but they’re not yet unpacked.

Believe me, it was a battle. I did not feel like writing. But butt went into chair, and I fought my way to nearly 1K.

And then, while eating breakfast, I had a breakthrough on the piece due at the end of February, the one with which I’ve been struggling: I started with the wrong opening and set the wrong tone — no wonder I was lost! I changed the opening line, and suddenly, the book opened out before me.

Drove to Plymouth, found the garage, checked in, was given a ride to Main St. Unfortunately the coffee shop I wanted to hang out in didn’t open until 9:30 (really? are you freaking kidding me? 9:30?) and it was 8. Found another one open, further down the street, which was like walking into a Land of Lost Souls. They were mostly regulars, but they were lost. Settled in with coffee and a wonderful blueberry muffin. Tried not to let the Really Loud Guy Desperate for Attention work my last nerve too much. Got some good outlining done on the book. Now, I have to write my way into it a bit before I can finish the rest of the outline. I also need to get a couple of books out of the library on the Tower of London, since I don’t know where mine are. And I have to tweak the beginning, because one of the rules for this book (by the publisher) is that it has to be set in Scotland. So I have to make sure it opens in Scotland and have the few short scenes as JFK airport and in London as flashbacks.

When I got as far with that as I could go, I switched to working on the material for Confidential Job #1 that’s due this week.

Left the coffee shop earlier than planned because the guy sitting next to me was tunelessly whistling. I’m like a cat when it comes to whistling — I don’t like it. And TUNELESS whistling sends me right over the edge. However, people whistle out of happiness or for comfort, and I don’t have the right to interfere with that, much less rip anyone’s throat out over it, or give them Dark Looks.

So I left and started walking back to the garage.

In 13 degree weather. Windy. Without a scarf.

Not one of my more brilliant moments, by a long shot. Add to that the fact that 90% of Plymouth’s sidewalks hadn’t been cleared — even if a lame attempt was made to push a little of the snow to one side occasionally, it was pure ice underneath. And it’s a state law that walkways are to be cleared 2 hours after a storm ends. Guess no one sent the memo to the whole damn town. Even in front of town hall it was a mess. Only the churches and museums paid any attention. And Rt. 44 is far too dangerous to walk on.

I was so furious I nearly melted the snow with every step. Or maybe I should say “stomp.” 😉

At least it kept me from realizing how cold it was.

Got there, read a little more as they finished up the car. Car’s in great shape, just needed some basic servicing and a few filters changed. I liked them there a lot — they were nice, they’re knowledgeable, they’re ethical, they’re busy as all get out with people they know by name. I think I found the right place for the car.

And the car feels great. Unlike the previous place, where I asked them to check tire pressure and brakes and they didn’t but lied, I could feel the difference here. I hadn’t even asked them about the brakes, and they adjusted them for me. And the tires feel better. If they’d just hosed her off, they’d be perfect!

Unfortunately, it’s too cold out for me to sponge her down, even with warm water. I’m going to have to wait a bit.

Ran some errands because the storm is supposed to hit this morning, not this evening as originally predicted. Got a new flashdrive for the more current work. I’m a little worried about my hard drive. I’m being vigilant about backing up/printing out, but . . .I’m hoping it’s a Comcast issue, since it’s only being cranky when I get online.

Came back to the cats racing around with brush-like tails. No idea why.

Wrote and read in the afternoon. Discussed workshop proposals with the person to whom they were pitched.

No request to the response for press credentials for the new, local pro hockey team (I went through proper channels and had my editor request and everything). So I stayed home! I’m interested in following them from Day One, but I also have deadlines coming up, and, if I can’t slot it into “work”, I can’t do it right now.

Watched some TV. (spoilers) What can I say? Brandy and I were right about the Orwell character in THE CAPE. 😉 Seriously, there’s some good stuff in the show, I understand some of the snarky criticism that’s come in, and I still feel there are a bit too many cooks in it. I’m hoping it’ll find its feet in the next few episodes, and that it gets time so to do. My biggest problem with it is that the character of Peter Fleming is not a strong enough or interesting enough antagonist. All he’s got is money and ego. The “Villain of the Week” concept would work better if Fleming was more dynamic and pulling more strings. Also, I’m annoyed at the “Submit your Villain and we might use it!” campaign. You want me to CREATE a character and HAND him over to you? No WGA contract, no licensing fees? I’m supposed to just be happy you picked my character? Bite me!

Woke up with the “pre-storm headache” and wish it would start already so the storm would hit.

Figured out how I re-injured the bad shoulder, the one where I tore the rotator cuff a few years ago. When I go down to the basement, I twist my arm behind me at a weird angle to shut the door. That’s causing problems. I have to stop a few steps down, turn around to face the door, and then shut it. Great. Another few seconds for the cats to sneak down! 😉 But it will take the strain off the shoulder.

Going to see if I can put to use some of that outlining I did yesterday, and then, this afternoon, maybe I can make a good dent in the work for Confidential Job #1. Also, my students have a new exercise due today, and I have to post the one due Friday. We only have two more weeks/three more exercises! It’s gone very quickly.

I better get going. There’s a lot of writing to be done!

Devon

Monday, January 17, 2011


View over Plymouth Harbor

Monday, January 17, 2011
Waxing Moon
Martin Luther King Day

This is scheduled to post, because I had to get my butt out of bed and get on the road far too early in order to get the car to Plymouth for its spa day. Hopefully it means that, by the time most of you read this, I’ll be back. My car gets a spa day and I get to freeze my ass off in Plymouth before any of the stores open. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Plymouth, but here’s hoping I find a nice, warm coffee joint and can do some writing!

I have a dilemma with the Samantha LIght piece. I originally wanted it to be speculative fiction in either a created world or a parallel world. But I keep making familiar references. I don’t know if that means I should set it in a somewhat futuristic NY/Scotland/Paris or just use those references in the first draft, and then change them substantially into a created/imagined version of similar cities in revisions. Stopping to world build right now will make me lose the dynamic between the characters. But, in the ultimate piece, the setting will be very, very important.

Regarding my protag, Samantha, I’m not having trouble with her. I thought it would be a challenge, because, on the surface, she seems like the kind of woman I can’t stand, and yet, she’s very much her own person without being the sort of cliche we see of this type of woman on tv, in the tabloids, or in fiction. So, I’m having fun with her.

Costume Imp moves today, leaving Queens to go up to Washington Heights. New situation, new roommates, the whole thing. He brought his delightful beasts up on Friday night — yowling all the way. They can give Iris a run for the money when it comes to feline opera performances.

I certainly learned how far some students will go to bend the rules in class. In the historical/western assignment, we had more than one person have a character “tell a story” about an historical time to another character. I had to let it go since I hadn’t expressly forbidden it, but now I know, and I’ve tweaked the exercise for future classes. When I say “set your characters in an historical or western piece”, having them tell each other a story about someone else doesn’t cut it. Even when it’s cleverly done and good as a piece in its own right. But again, I guess I have to expressly forbid just about any place they have wiggle room.


Can you find the hawk hidden in the tree?

The raptor release at Long Pasture Sanctuary was magnificent. First of all, the place is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to spend more time walking around there when the weather is a little warmer. I learned a bit about identifying hawks — I’ll have to practice a lot more before I can actually do it. Two hawks were released — both females. The first one, who recovered from a broken wing, was still a little overweight. She flew to a nearby tree and stayed. Hey, I don’t blame her — she was used to room service! Two other hawks circled near by, wanting to know what was going on. The second hawk, also a female, nearly tore the carrier apart. When the door opened, she backed to the rear, took a few steps, and soared out. She paused on top of a nearby tree to get her bearings, and then she was outta there! Absolutely gorgeous.

Again, the kids who attended the event were bright, engaged, enthusiastic, asked some of the best questions and made some of the best comments. No crying or whining.

I like how the parents here actually engage in conversation with their kids when they’re off doing something, whether it’s at an event or going to the grocery store. They talk to them like actual human beings, unlike in the suburbs of NY, where parents are on the cell phone all the time talking about stupid gossip and just pause long enough to yell at the kid. Here, when parents take their kids grocery shopping, one kid has the list, and another kid scouts the aisle, and they learn how to tell if a piece of fruit or a vegetable is a good choice, etc., etc. Just a much healthier dynamic, and you can see the difference in the kids. They’re not as brittle and wounded and desperate for attention and filled with the sense of entitlement they see from their parents as suburban NY children.

The director took us on a short walk on the sanctuary — he showed us how to recognize rabbit tracks and otter tracks and we saw the pond where the otters like to come and fish. The otters were to smart enough not to let us see them, but it was fun to see where they played and slid.

It was just a great couple of hours, even though I’d lost all feeling in my toes before the end of it! I need to start dressing for these things like I did on the days I spent outside on location for television shows. And, Diane, I couldn’t find my silk thermals. I was not happy. I also need to find my fleece-lined jeans for the next event, and slip some toe warmers into my boots and hand warmers into my gloves. I will also pre-heat by drinking ginger tea before I go (learned from the Great Cape Herbs seminar last week).

I drank quite a bit of ginger tea when I got home, and that helped a lot.

‘Cause there’s no reason to attend these events if I don’t apply what I learn, right? 😉

The mail brought a box of books containing the second volume of Gail Godwin’s journal and Antonia Frasier’s memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, so I was a happy camper. Wrapped myself in a blanket, put on some jazz, and started the Godwin memoir.

I read a lot of her books in the late 80’s, early -mid 90’s and really enjoyed her writing. I haven’t read her lately, and I’m interested, once I unpack them, to re-read some of the books I read and see if my perceptions have changed. The writing on the page remains the same, it is fixed once it’s published, but do I respond to it differently?

I remembered getting impatient with the first volume of journals, but couldn’t remember why. I’m not very far into this volume of journals, and I get impatient again. Yes, it was the early 1960’s, and women had a different frame of reference. But if she spent even an eighth of the energy she wastes on pursuing toxic relationships with men on her writing, she would have gotten a whole lot further a whole lot faster.

The diary can help you see patterns and break them. I look at my diaries from my twenties and self-indulgent thirties and cringe. But writing it all down and looking back also helped me break negative patterns and realize how I was getting in my own way, both personally and professionally. That person helped form who I am now, but I wish she’d gotten her act together earlier. Maybe that’s why I get impatient with Godwin’s journals — I see too much similarity. The qualities I didn’t like in myself at that age, I see in those journals.

When she details observations on the world around her, and how her writing process evolves, it’s very interesting.

Also got a lovely CD mixed by a good friend that is a joy to play. I was just casting around for some new music, and it appeared in the post! Thanks, Colin!

Went to bed pretty early. Got up on Sunday pretty early, having dreamed I was working on location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and I was as tired as if I’d actually spent the night doing just that. These “busy dreams” take it out of me! 😉

Morning routine, out to get the papers, read the papers. The papers here are better written, have fewer typos, and are more balanced that most other papers I’ve read across the country. They poke at multiple sides of an issue, so you get a broad spectrum of both information and opinion — each of which is clearly defined, so that biased opinion isn’t presented as journalism. It makes it easier to get a more complete picture of an issue to figure out one’s own stand on it. I read more than one paper, and each paper contains multiple points of view on different issues, so one really gets a good cross-section of information.

Decided that Sunday was going to be my day off from writing this week. I kind of feel that all of my life since I’ve moved is a bit of refilling the creative well, which I desperately need. I’m trying a lot of new things and trying to open myself up to a lot of new experiences I didn’t/couldn’t in NY, and seeing what I learn.

Read a lot. Caught up on some emails. Caught up on filing and receipts. Played with the cats.

Got frustrated with the workshop because so many people seem to think that the date an assignment due is a suggestion. Far too many of them post their assignment days late, the day before or the day the next assignment is due. Some people are skipping exercises, which they were told UP FRONT they can’t do. I had to resort to keeping a tracking sheet so I can track, as I jump back and forth between the assignments, who’s keeping up and who isn’t. It’s just so disrespectful. We all have life stuff. If you expect to have a career in anything, you learn how to deal with life and your career. You can’t wait until you’re earning a paycheck to behave that way or you’ll never earn a paycheck.

Enough. I had to get up at five frigging a.m. in the freezing cold to get in the yoga, meditation, and my first 1K of the day before I left for the garage. So I don’t want to hear about anyone’s conflicts when they have a half a week to get a 1300 word assignment done. In four days, I have to do AT LEAST 4000 words. Usually a heck of a lot more. AND run my life.

Devon